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The Fall of Tartarus (Gollancz S.F.) [Paperback]

Eric Brown
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 April 2005 Gollancz S.F.
In myth Tartarus was the lowest region of hell. So low, it was said, that an anvil dropped from heaven having taken nine days and nights to reach earth would take a further nine days and nights to reach Tartarus. In reality . . . 'I'd heard many a tale about Tartarus Major, how certain continents were technological backwaters five hundred years behind the times; how the Church governed half the planet with a fist of iron, and yet how, across scattered islands and sequestered lands, a thousand bizarre and heretic cults prospered too. I'd heard how a lone traveller was hardly safe upon the planet's surface, prey to wild animals and cut-throats. Most of all I'd heard that, in two hundred years, Tartarus would be annihilated when its sun exploded in the magnificent stellar suicide of a supernova.' These are the stories of the people who are leaving Tartarus, those have decided to stay and those who are arriving on the planet for the apocalypse.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575076186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575076181
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,552,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The opening stories are coming of age tales with a touch of Stepehen King." (Anthony Brown DREAMWATCH )

"British SF writer Eric Brown has created a convincing planet in Tartarus Major; its races, flora, fauna and even chunks of its history are easily believable." (Simon Withers SFX )

Simon Withers, SFX

"British SF writer Eric Brown has created a convincing planet in Tartarus Major; its races, flora, fauna and even chunks of its history are easily believable."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The Fall of Tartarus is a collection of eight stories taking place on the planet of the same name, which is under the punishment of its near-nova solar body. Much like the levels of Dante's hell, the progressive stories only grow more and more insidious as the last. The running theme of personal death is each story reflects the terrestrial and solar death of the system; I don't which line of mortality is more gripping, harrowing or enlightening... all in one. If you think experiencing death through the eyes of another human could be called monotonous, then perhaps this saga isn't for you. The further you dig into this collection, the deeper the sentiment and the richer the dirt of the wider spectrum of the plot you will find.

Destiny of Tartarus - 5/5 - A young man returns to Tartarus in search of his father, who is rumored to have been last seen competing in Charybdis boat races. On the onus led train ride, the man befriends an influential man and a cherubic Messenger. The three agree to partake in the races together while the young man is eager to unravel the mystery surrounding his father's history thereafter. 68 pages

A Prayer for the Dead - 5/5 - A man revisits his homeland and reflects upon the tragedy which occurred the many years ago when he was to wed his lover in an ersatz wedding hosted by an alien hermit- the summer of love which turned into a lifelong summer of longing. 41 pages

The Eschatarium at Lyssia - 4/5 - Sculptor/drug addict/widower abandons sculptures dedicated to his wife's death throes to revisit the alien amphitheater in which he and his wife spent many a-years. The Messenger tells him of his wife's ghost and her will to set his mind at ease.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another reason to read Eric Brown! 10 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback
I'm sure I've said it before, but Eric Brown is an author that I've come to enjoy a great deal. I read his Bengal Station trilogy over the past couple of years and this year I've been steadily getting hold of his back list. The Fall of Tartarus is a collection that I managed to get hold of a few months back, not really knowing what it would contain, but sure that this collection would meet my expectations. That it did and just goes to show that there is an author who writes consistently good science fiction.

This collection focuses on the colony world of Tartarus, a planet whose sun will go nova in the not too distant future - hence the rather suitable title. We follow different groups and people as they experience life and times on the doomed world, dating from a couple of hundred years prior to the supernova and ending with said event. Each story takes place at times closer and closer to the nova and we see a world change, the attitudes of those living there towards the mass evacuation and life in general for those few that visit Tartarus.

Destiny on Tartarus - 9/10
This is a story about Sinclair who travels to Tartarus to find out his father's fate, his mother informing him when he was younger that it was on this planet that he had perished. With little information we follow him from arrival on Tartarus, learning the hard way that kindness is not always what it seems, and then meeting a fabled Blackman who accompanies him on his journey of discovery. Culminating in the annual, and very dangerous, ship race across some of the roughest seas on the planet where Sinclair makes the discovery he travelled to Tartarus for.

This is an excellent story, possibly one of the best of the collection, and is the perfect starter to show you what to expect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imminent supernova spawns tales of coping with death 5 Jun 2010
By M-I-K-E 2theD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Fall of Tartarus is a collection of eight stories taking place on the planet of the same name, which is under the punishment of its near-nova solar body. Much like the levels of Dante's hell, the progressive stories only grow more and more insidious as the last. The running theme of personal death is each story reflects the terrestrial and solar death of the system; I don't which line of mortality is more gripping, harrowing or enlightening... all in one. If you think experiencing death through the eyes of another human could be called monotonous, then perhaps this saga isn't for you. The further you dig into this collection, the deeper the sentiment and the richer the dirt of the wider spectrum of the plot you will find.

Destiny of Tartarus - 5/5 - A young man returns to Tartarus in search of his father, who is rumored to have been last seen competing in Charybdis boat races. On the onus led train ride, the man befriends an influential man and a cherubic Messenger. The three agree to partake in the races together while the young man is eager to unravel the mystery surrounding his father's history thereafter. 68 pages

A Prayer for the Dead - 5/5 - A man revisits his homeland and reflects upon the tragedy which occurred the many years ago when he was to wed his lover in an ersatz wedding hosted by an alien hermit- the summer of love which turned into a lifelong summer of longing. 41 pages

The Eschatarium at Lyssia - 4/5 - Sculptor/drug addict/widower abandons sculptures dedicated to his wife's death throes to revisit the alien amphitheater in which he and his wife spent many a-years. The Messenger tells him of his wife's ghost and her will to set his mind at ease. 26 pages

The Ultimate Sacrifice - 5/5 - Videographer/journalist begins an emotional documentary of her search for her brother, officially deceased but rumored to still be alive in a monastery of The Church of Ultimate Sacrifice, whose belief revolves around personal suffering for the benefit of delaying the sun's supernova. 42 pages

The People of the Nova - 4/5 - Widowed Director of Evacuation and his savage-cum-daughter are confronted by a tribal man who knows the whereabouts of the two missing scouts. 25 pages

Vulpheous - 4/5 - Xenobiologist and hunter tracks the last remaining Vulpheous to a volcanic caldera where he hopes to capture the animal for the sake of mankind. However, there is also a young tribal woman around the lake to await the same animal for healing purposes. 28 pages

Hunting the Slarque - 5/5 - Reincarnated man remembers being ripped to shreds and dying on Tartarus, but why is he on Million and his wife back on Tartarus again? To reimburse the expense of the reincarnation, the man must travel back to the sight of his death to capture the very thing which killed him before. 49 pages

Dark Calvary - 5/5 - Cramer shot his wife in the back but the Church of Ultimate Sacrifice has proof of her undeath, so he returns to Tartarus to find his wife and help the abbot find the fabled secret alien temple... all before the sun goes nova within the month. Cramer must confront his hatred of the church and his odd longing to see his reanimated wife but under such circumstances he cannot comprehend. 33 pages
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